Two Unusual Maj Situations – Is it Allowed and How Would You Handle This?

Two Unusual Maj Situations – Is it Allowed and How Would You Handle This?

Two Unusual Maj Situations – Is it Allowed and How Would You Handle This?

I find it fascinating when situations come up in Mah Jongg that stump even the most experienced players. One of those strange incidents happened the other day in my game; the other happened to a friend of mine who relayed the story to me a few days later. I thought both would be interesting to share with you to get your take on these two rather rare Mah Jongg occurrences.

This is what happened in my game a few days ago:

My good friend Jane, one of the best players I know, called a tile (let’s say it was a 4 Bam). She exposed it with three other 4 Bams, making a kong of 4 Bams. Then, before she discarded, she took a tile from her hand and exchanged it for a joker in another player’s exposure. She then placed that joker alongside her four 4 Bams, making her exposure of 4 Bams into a quint. She then looked at me with a quizzical expression and asked, “Can I do this?”

The second situation happened to my good friend Emily, who has been playing for over 50 years and is an outstanding player. She, her husband and another couple were playing Maj. Oren had an exposure of two 2 Craks and one joker. Nate had a 2 Crak in his hand, so when it was his turn, he exchanged it for Oren’s joker. Play continued. Approximately 2 rounds later, Emily looked at Oren’s exposure and said, “Wait, what’s that 3 Crak doing in that exposure of 2 Craks?” They determined that when Nate exchanged his tile for Oren’s joker, he mistakenly gave Oren a 3 Crak instead of a 2 Crak, and no one noticed. Oren, Emily, Nate and Rhonda were in a quandary. What should happen now that the mistake has been discovered?

I welcome your comments on either or both situations.
Stay tuned for the answers…


  • Emily and Nate and Oren Posted March 6, 2016 8:08 pm

    We all know who good for the brain this game is but you have taken it to a whole new level by challenging us even more! Thank you Tracey.

  • Marilyn Barris Posted March 7, 2016 10:58 am

    In the second case about the 2 crak (or crack) the hand is dead!! because you are supposed to watch your own hand , if someone put the wrong tile up it is up to you to catch it.

    In the first case it is tricky I think she can do it because she didn’t discard yet so it was really still her turn and you can change the amount of tiles you expose until you discard.

  • Jill Krantz Posted March 7, 2016 2:21 pm

    The second scenario, of course I agree that the mistaken replacement renders both players hands dead…?
    The first situation seems tricky, since she could not produce a complete exposure with the called tile. I am curious to see what the ‘legal’ ruling is.

  • Julie Posted March 8, 2016 5:46 pm

    I love that “Jane” is bringing on such discussion, but I do think it probably would not be allowed.

  • Binnie Nadler Posted March 15, 2016 2:59 pm

    I’ve been playing mahj for over 25 years. I think the first situation should have been played with the joker exchange first before the exposure, but the hand could still be accepted. In the second situation, the hand is dead. It’s nice that you bring this to players’ attention.

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